Motorists in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan on Oct. 22 might have noticed a matching pair of tractor-trailers playing “follow the leader” along the interstates and turnpikes. The convoy was part of a Level 1 automated truck platooning demonstration that began in Pennsylvania, continued through Ohio and ended in Michigan, traveling more than 280 miles.
The Smart Belt Coalition (SBC), a collaboration between transportation agencies and educational institutions in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, partnered with Locomation, a Pittsburgh-based technology firm, to complete the demonstration. SBC members include the American Center for Mobility, Carnegie Mellon University, Kettering University, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) DriveOhio initiative, Ohio State University, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the University of Michigan and the Transportation Research Center Inc.
While performing the demonstration, the SBC coordinated food donations between The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and the Forgotten Harvest Food Bank in Detroit.